Garage Workout (Quick Workout)


Because Tyler and I are both trying to get strong, but we’re on a tight time budget (Ty works full-time, and I’m a full-time MBA) we are attempting to create a quick workout program that is effective, but also fast.

Tyler has a garage, so we are able to use this in any weather. Listed below are a number of workouts, of which we perform seven. We do each workout for one minute, with one minute break in between…for a total of 14 minutes. Sounds easy, but it’s terrible…so we’re guess it works.  We will follow up with our findings. First I will list possible equipment you can use:

  • jump rope
  • mats (if your garage has concrete floors)
  • chair
  • punching bag (~100lbs) hanging or on the ground)
  • pull up bar (we use the exposed cross beam 2×4’s in the garage)
  • kettlebell (we use 45lbs)
  • boxing/mma gloves

Now pick 7 of the workouts below and do each of them for 1 minute with a 1 minute rest between workouts. If you’re a beast, do more. If you’re new to working out…do less.

  • Kettlebell Stiff Legged Deadlift (with upright row)
  • Kettlebell curls (both hands on the outside of the handle)
  • Kettlebell two-handed swing (look it up on YouTube (we’ll probably post our own video later))
  • Kettlebell squats
  • Pullups (do as many as you can, and then do negatives for the remaining time. negatives will require a chair, so that you can jump up to a finished pull-up position and slowly let yourself down (think 5-7 count))
  • Pushups
  • Ground & Pound on punching bag – lay the bag on the ground and hit it until you get tired. If you’re a wrestler/jiu jitsu-er you can just do “top control” drills.
  • Bag flip – with the bag laying flat on the ground, grab one end and flip it over. Run to the other side and repeat.
  • Jump Rope
  • Burpees
  • Running Man Lunges – think doing a lunge in one motion and then jumping into a lunge on the other side. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
  • Dips – on the chair, or if you have a dip machine use that. (If you have a dip machine you have a badass garage and I want to visit.)

We then follow up our 7 workouts with crunches to wrap it up. We do 5 different variations, for 30 reps a piece…150 crunches total. Looking back on it, that doesn’t seem like a lot, but I remember them not being fun.


Listed below is a list of potential things from Amazon that can be used for the workout. (If you buy them through this site, we get a small percentage, but it may be possible to find cheaper options used through Craigslist. Tyler and I are also exploring ways to make some of our own equipment to keep costs down. When we do this, we will let you know.)

Recommended Reading

If there was any book that I wish I would have read earlier than I did, it is The Four Hour Body, by Tim Ferriss. Before entering my MBA I worked second shift and ate horribly, and extremely late at night. I ballooned up to 245 (I’m 5’11”) and felt awful.

Just before school I tried to get back into shape by simply increasing the amount I worked out. I was able to drop 10 pounds, but still felt out of shape. In the middle of my first year of school I tore my right ACL (I had already torn my left ACL and meniscus (on a separate occasion)) and I knew that I needed to take more weight off of my knees. Luckily, just a few days before my surgery I found a copy of The Four Hour Body in a Volunteer’s of America Thrift Store. It was $2.50, and it was the best purchase I’ve made. I am now 210 pounds, and feel in great shape. Unfortunately I did not take bodyfat % figures, because I believe this figure would be far more impressive.

If I could summarize the themes/content that produced the biggest results in me they would be:

  • record your weight/bf % – whatever metric you want to change
  • slow carb diet – keep it simple. Three-four dishes per meal that you can live with for a month. This is way easier than you think.
  • workouts should be done under the Minimum Effective Load mindset. The smallest amount of effort that produces positive results should be used for workouts. The diet is where most of your gains from.
  • Increase testosterone by supplementing with selenium (3 Brazil nuts), vitamin D, and Zinc. This dramatically impacted my mood for the positive. I don’t know…or care…if this was a placebo effect. I felt it, and I loved it.
  • This was less from the book (and more from listening to Joe Rogan’s Podcast while I was on the couch after my surgery)…but…simply keep a positive mindset, be nice to people, and don’t be a dick. This is indirect, but this had a huge impact on my overall mood. Making other people feel good through kindness is contagious.


Here is a link to the book. You can obviously buy it on Amazon — or maybe get lucky in a thrift store in your area like I did.


Video Game Fitness (cont.)

We created a new game now…instead of push ups we do pull-ups cause pull-ups are way worse:

Loss = 10 pull ups (any form)

negative kill/death ratio = 5 pull-ups (proper overhand wide-grip form)

Ex: a loss with a negative kill/death ratio leads to 15 total pull-ups.

We use this pull up bar…

Video Game Fitness

We’ve been able to justify our new video game addiction (Call of Duty), by creating a workout punishment for losing…It’s a very simple game. But it sucks. Cause we (aka: Brian) are not good at Call of Duty.

Every Loss = 25 push-ups

Every negative ratio of Kills/Deaths = 25 pushups.

Ex: If you lose the game, and got killed more times than you killed…guess what…you’re doing 50 pushups.

Needless to say, our chests are huge.

Functional Strength Lab


Functional Strength Lab was created by the founders (Tyler & Brian) to stay motivated to work out regularly — with the end goal of generating functional strength. We are not experts in working out or certified trainers, but we have worked out regularly for various sports and general fitness.  We were, however, also less than impressed with the isolated strength gains we were seeing from our hours in the gym. We decided to explore other fitness routines and equipment that could generate better overall strength gains — functional strength gains (i.e., doing yard work, carrying your nephew, p/u sports games, etc.) Some of it worked some of it didn’t. We simply hope that you learn from our mistakes and gain from our successes.

We will post books, equipment, and workout plans that we found most helpful, along with anything else that we feel may benefit our FSL community. If you have any questions or things you’d like for us to cover simply post in the comments section under the thread or contact us at: If you have a question for one of us directly you can also do that at: or


Tyler & Brian